Welcome to lesson #9 of the profitable blogging course.
We’ve got a lot to cover today, but its likely to be one of the most enjoyable (and rewarding) lessons of all. Today, we start promoting your blog.
Let’s get this straight right from the outset: for new bloggers Pinterest is likely to be your very best friend.
The reason is simple: there’s a whole load of visitors available, and it’s much quicker and easier to get started than anything else I’ve found.
Now, to be clear, I recommend you promote your blog in a number of ways.
Diversity is key in this game, so that if one traffic source dries up you still have others. Relying on just one strategy puts you at risk in the future if things change.
So don’t ignore SEO or other social media channels.
However what I would say is that the sooner you get started on Pinterest the sooner you’ll start to grow your traffic.
And of course we all know that more visitors = more money.
Mastering Pinterest is therefore the single most important skill you can learn if you want to rapidly start earning money from your blog.
Today we’re going to talk through a simple list of strategies that will help you grow your blog hugely.
Ready? Then let’s get going…
What is Pinterest?
In case you’re one of the small group of people who hasn’t experienced Pinterest yet lets just spend a brief moment explaining what Pinterest is, and why it can be so powerful.
Pinterest is in essence an image-sharing site. Thousands of images are present on everything you could possibly imagine. From pictures of horses to interior decor ideas.
Users can search through the images using keywords, or they can follow other users. Just like with Facebook, when you log into your account you’ll see all the latest pins (images) shared by the people you follow. You may also see other “recommended” pins from people you don’t follow if they’re proving popular with other visitors.
The person who dreams of seeing Paris, for example, will log in to find a whole host of beautiful pictures of the “city of love”.
It’s oddly addictive, and users of Pinterest are just as obsessive as die-hard Facebook fans.
How Does Pinterest Get Me Traffic?
The reason that Pinterest works so well for bloggers is through the creation of special “title images”. They’re essentially a photo with the title of your article overlaid. When someone clicks your image they’re taken to your blog to read the post.
This means that the more “pins” you have created, the more people who see them, the more people will visit your site.
Numbers vary, and take time to increase, but just to give you some idea of what is possible, within six months of getting serious about Pinterest I was attracting roughly 400 visitors a day to my blog. A year later and I’m disappointed if I don’t see 2,000+ visitors per day. That’s big, and is responsible for roughly $1,000 a month of my income.
Getting the Basics in Place
Before we start talking about the real “meat” of Pinterest marketing I want to make sure that you have all the basic in place. To start off with, then, we’ll talk about getting your account set up correctly. If you’re already a Pinterest user you can always skip over this first section for the juicy stuff later on…
Set up a Business Account
Pinterest provides two different accounts – a personal account and a business account. I recommend that all bloggers have a business account.
The simple reason is that business accounts offer you much more in terms of tracking and analytics. They let you see what’s working for you, how quickly your followers are growing and more.
Fortunately it’s super-simple to get a business account – even if you already have a personal account.
Just visit http://business.pinterest.com and you’ll be able to quickly transition across to a full business profile.
Use Keywords in Titles
Think of Pinterest as a giant search engine. That means that people are searching using keyword phrases, just as you do in Google. Including these keyword phrases is therefore critical.
So include relevant keyword phrases in your account name, your board names and your pin descriptions.
If your blog is all about horse care, try to get this phrase into your name (“Horse Care Tips from Sarah”), into at least one board name, and then use it (where relevant) when writing the descriptions of your pins.
Follow Like-Minded Profiles
Getting started on Pinterest can be a bit deflating, bearing in mind that everyone starts at zero followers. The best way to get started, therefore, is to follow some related pinners. Of these, a percentage will follow you back.
By choosing a new keyword phrase related to your blog each week, and following a number of accounts and boards which address these, your follower numbers will start to grow slowly. The aim is to at least get to a few hundred followers swiftly so you don’t look like a total newbie.
Depending on the niche you’re in this may take following 1,000 or more. Don’t do it all in one go though, as you don’t want to look “spammy”. Instead, try to follow 100 or so people or boards each week, until you’re happy with your base number of followers.
Add (and Verify) Your Blog Address
Pinterest allows you to include your website address on your profile. Not only is this clickable (meaning more people can visit your site) but when you verify your website it also becomes a do-follow link. What this means is that this link can help your SEO efforts.
Install Rich Pins
“Rich pins” is the name given for images on Pinterest that include extra information. They’ll include a mention of your blog and a bigger, bolder description. As a result, they stand out well on Pinterest and attract additional clicks.
So how do you get these rich pins?
It’s a two stage process, though both are pretty simple.
Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that your blog is providing the necessary code to Pinterest for them to show this additional information.
You might not know it yet, but by following the previous lessons of this course you’ve actually already got everything you need.
The first step is to log into your WordPress control panel, and locate the Yoast SEO plugin that we installed previously.
From here, click on the “Social” option, and ensure that Twitter Cards are activated.
That’s all you need to do on your blog.
Then simply skip over to https://developers.pinterest.com/tools/url-debugger/, to let them know that you have rich pins set up.
Within a matter of days you should gain approval, and the pins from your blog will start looking a whole lot more attractive.
Make Custom Images
Lastly, of course, you’re going to need to make a title image for every blog post that you write, so that you can share it on Pinterest.
My favorite tool for making blog title images is PicMonkey. It has a free and paid option, though the free version will be find when you’re starting out.
Here you can use free images as we covered in a previous lesson; namely those from Pixabay and Pexels.
Getting started making images can be a little challenging if you’re not a graphic designer (I’m certainly not).
I recommend going over to your Pinterest account and just taking a look around for ideas. Find those combinations of colors and fonts that you like, then use your free PicMonkey account to experiment until you create an image that you’re happy with.
From now on, every blog post that you publish on your blog should have one of these title images, so that you can share it on Pinterest and drive more traffic to your site.
OK, so at this point we’ve covered the basic steps. In truth, if you only do this you probably won’t get much traffic.
What separates beginners from those of us getting loads of traffic are a number of more advanced techniques. So whether you have an existing Pinterest account or not you need to understand the following steps for Pinterest domination!
Advanced Pinterest Marketing Tactics
More Pins = More Followers
The first secret that you need to understand is that Pinterest needs to be used continually. Just adding the odd image every few days or weeks just isn’t going to do it for you.
Instead you need to be pinning multiple times, every single day.
I know of some people who add 100+ images every single day to their accounts, though I tend to limit mine to around 15 or so per day.
The more that you pin, the more followers that you’ll get and the more traffic your blog will receive.
If you’re serious about making money from your blog, therefore, you need to be pinning continually (don’t worry – we’ll talk about how in a few moments).
More of Your Pins = More Traffic
The second element to think about is what you’re going to pin. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with pinning other people’s content – it’ll still drive extra followers and traffic. But the real magic comes from pinning your own posts on a regular basis.
Again – don’t just pin an image from your blog once – pin it over and over to maximize your traffic.
Automate Your Pinning
By now we’ve discovered that you need to be pinning multiple times per day.
All this takes time of course; something that few of us have in abundance.
For this reason I strongly recommend that you consider using a tool to help you.
My personal recommendation is for Tailwind.
Using Tailwind I can spend a few hours and queue up enough images to keep my account active for weeks in advance.
Right now, I actually have 15-20 pins going out every day for the next two months.
All the work is done – now I just need to sit back and enjoy the traffic I’ll be receiving.
In short, I don’t think you can successfully promote your blog on Pinterest without such a tool.
Your task for today is therefore to sign up for a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one, then grab a free trial to Tailwind. You’ll have 30 days to play around and queue up images without it costing you a penny.
Once you’re comfortable you can then start to go all-in with your pinning, and so drive maximum traffic back to your blog.